Neuro

May 30, 2017

For months I have been investigating the ingredients in each of the formulations used in a Vasayo product.  I decided it was time to start displaying the results of my investigation into Neuro.

The Neuro formulation contains the following ingredients:

Citicoline

Citicoline (CDP-choline) is an endogenous nucleotide naturally found in the body where it is an essential intermediate in the synthesis of the major phospholipid of the cell membranes, phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho). There is some evidence of a stimulating role of citicoline for the release of dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain (Fonlupt et al 1985). Citicoline, by activating the central cholinergic system, also increases plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels and potentiates serum thyrotrophin (TSH) levels. The stimulation of central nicotinic and muscarinic receptors also increases growth hormone (GH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) serum levels (Cavun and Savci 2004).  The biological activity attributed to citicoline has suggested a possible role of citicoline on improving memory (McDaniel 2003). Some clinical studies have given evidence to this hypothesis (Agnoli et al 1989; Spiers et al 1996) and there is a proposal for studying citicoline in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) with the aim of confirming both its efficacy in these patients and a possible role as a retardant agent for the cognitive deterioration of the eventual subsequent dementia (Abad-Santos 2002).  (PMC - NCBI)  Citicoline has emerged as a valid treatment for patients with chronic cerebrovascular disorders or with memory problems.

Bacopa

Bacopa is used to treat a broad range of mind-related health concerns, including Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, anxiety, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, epilepsy, and as a general tonic to fight stress. Best of all, it has far less severe side effects than the dangerous psychotropic drugs often prescribed today.  The US National Library of Medicine / National Institutes of Health website (PMC - NCBI) lists 680 studies on Bacopa research, benefits and risks.  After reviewing the scientific evidence, the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCD) concluded that bacopa is “possibly effective” for aiding in learning and memory improvement.  

Rigorous study has found that this herb especially impacts how your brain handles new information: Bacopa is proven to help you retain more of it. A 2002 double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study [1] found a significant impact of bacopa “for the retention of new information.” Researchers also noted that bacopa slowed down how quickly subjects forgot new information.

A more recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study [2] of 81 subjects (all at least 55 years old) showed that bacopa significantly improved “memory acquisition and retention.”

In a 2008 study [3] subjects taking bacopa every day for 90 days saw significantly improved accuracy for their spatial working memory (critical for being able to find things and remember where they are).

Article Citations:
  1. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2002 Aug;27(2):279-81. Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory. Roodenrys S,
  2. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Jul;16(7):753-9. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0342. Does Bacopa monnieri improve memory performance in older persons? Results of a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. Morgan A, Stevens J.
  3. Stough C, Phytother Res. 2008 Dec;22(12):1629-34. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2537. Examining the nootropic effects of a special extract of Bacopa monniera on human cognitive functioning: 90 day double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial.

Ginkgo Biloba

In October 2002, the Alzheimer’s Society and the Cochrane Collaboration published a comprehensive review that examined more than 30 ginkgo biloba trials – some dating as far back as the mid-70s.  The Cochrane researchers concluded that the studies reveal convincing evidence that ginkgo extract may benefit cognition, emotional health, and activities of daily living in patients who are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. In less than three months, many patients experienced positive results using a dosage of less than 200 mg per day.

Ginkgo’s been widely studied for its effective anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, platelet-forming and circulation-boosting effects. According to current research, ginkgo biloba benefits include improved cognitive function, positive mood, increased energy, improved memory and reduced symptoms related to multiple chronic diseases — for instance, it’s been used as an asthma natural remedy, ADHD natural remedy and dementia treatment. In fact, it’s believed to be so effective that it’s even a prescription herb in Germany!

The US National Library of Medicine / National Institutes of Health website (PMC - NCBI) lists 4521 studies on Ginkgo Biloba research, benefits and risks.


Vinpocetine

Vinpocetine is a synthetic alkaloid derived from the periwinkle plant (specifically, synthesized from the molecule known as 'vincamine') that appears to have a track record of usage in European countries for the treatment of cognitive decline, stroke recovery, and epilepsy.

Vinpocetine has effects on brain blood vessels, brain blood flow, and brain cells themselves. In this way, it can be of value in enhancing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the brain, as well as in possibly preventing the damage that occurs if nutrient delivery is impaired.

Some research suggests that vinpocetine may also help to prevent the neurotoxic effects implicated in Alzheimer’s disease.  Vinpocetine inhibits an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type 1 (PDE1) while reducing intracellular calcium levels, both of which normally cause smooth muscle in blood vessels to contract and narrow the diameter of the vessels. Inhibition of PDE1 and calcium thus allows brain blood vessels to relax and increases the amount of blood flowing through them. [2-5] 

Vinpocetine is also commonly used as a nootropic compound in the hopes that it may promote memory formation.  Vinpocetine appears to have a role in neuroprotection and reducing neural inflammation, and for healthy persons it may potentially increase blood flow to the brain and improve reaction time (Limited evidence all around). The benefit of vinpocetine in memory formation is not yet proven, but it may protect the brain from amnesia

The US National Library of Medicine / National Institutes of Health website (PMC - NCBI) lists 445 studies on Vinpocetine research, benefits and risks.

References
1. Spilt A, Weverling-Rijnsburger AW, Middelkoop HA, et al. Late-onset dementia: structural brain damage and total cerebral blood flow. Radiology. 2005 Sep;236(3):990-5.
2. Szakall S, Boros I, Balkay L, et al. Cerebral effects of a single dose of intravenous vinpocetine in chronic stroke patients: a PET study. J Neuroimaging. 1998 Oct;8(4):197-204.
3. Szilagyi G, Nagy Z, Balkay L, et al. Effects of vinpocetine on the redistribution of cerebral blood flow and glucose metabolism in chronic ischemic stroke patients: a PET study. J Neurol Sci. 2005 Mar 15;229-230:275-84.
4. Vas A, Gulyas B, Szabo Z, et al. Clinical and non-clinical investigations using positron emission tomography, near infrared spectroscopy and transcranial Doppler methods on the neuroprotective drug vinpocetine: a summary of evidences. J Neurol Sci. 2002 Nov 15;203-204:259-62.
5. Wu SN. Large-conductance Ca2+- activated K+ channels:physiological role and pharmacology. Curr Med Chem. 2003 Apr;10(8):649-61.

Huperzine A 

Huperzine A is thought to be beneficial for problems with memory, loss of mental abilities (dementia), and the muscular disorder myasthenia gravis because it causes an increase in the levels of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is one of the chemicals that our nerves use to communicate in the brain, muscles, and other areas.

Huperzine-A is able to promote proliferation of hippocampal neural stem cells (NSCs) at a concentration of 1μM for 48 hours (which is more potent than 10-100μM) to 125% of control secondary to activating the ERK pathway,[21] and this neurogenesis was confimed in vivo with injections of 0.2mg/kg of huperzine-A for 4 weeks (about a 25% increase in BrdU stained cells, affecting both newborn and adult mice).  [Ma T, et al Huperzine A promotes hippocampal neurogenesis in vitro and in vivo . Brain Res. (2013)]

Huperzine A acts as a cholinesterase inhibitor — a type of medication that works by improving the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. Small early studies suggest that huperzine A may improve memory and protect nerve cells, which could slow the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's.

A recent meta-analysis found evidence that huperzine A may significantly improve cognitive performance in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Another study suggests that huperzine A appears to have many protective effects on the brain in addition to its role as a cholinesterase inhibitor.

The US National Library of Medicine / National Institutes of Health website (PMC - NCBI) lists 607 studies on Huperzine A research, benefits and risks.


Personal Note

After using Neuro for several months, I have experienced only a positive improvement in memory access and retention.  Ir is easier for me to access both short and long term memories and retrieve names and words that previously were immediately unretrievable or lost that have now been found.  The results are so helpful that I consider it a basic necessity in addition to the Core Essentials.  It is also easier for me to work with numbers, accounting programs etc.  My mind is sharper and able to focus on the numbers and words with less wandering for much longer periods of time. In other words, indispensable!  I couldn't maintain the intellectual activities required at work without it.

This month I purchased Energy and take it along with Neuro and Core.  Just as Michelle advised, taking the Neuro along with the Energy has surprised me with its effects.  I tried the Energy earlier with little noticeable results.  But taking it with the Neuro has made a big difference.  I maintain a high energy level (at 2 sprays in the morning along with Neuro & Core essentials) throughout the day that doesn't diminish after lunch and is still noticeable on my drive home.  I sleep better at night and I'm less stressed or irritable at the end of the day.